Your body needs sleep. Tamika Dwight-Scott writes about finding ways to get peaceful, restful and restorative sleep in the hot weather.
We live in a country of extremes and right now mid-January in NSW Australia we’re experiencing extremely high temperatures.
I’m writing this blog from Quest for Life in the Southern Highlands of NSW, where we can generally rely on cooler weather. However, this week we’ve experienced
temperatures up to 38 degrees and only getting down to about 18-20 degrees of an evening.
There’ve been many studies on the importance of sleep for our general health and wellbeing. Lack of sleep can show up as feeling tired, cranky and out
of sorts. Long-term sleep deprivation makes it difficult to concentrate, brings on mood changes, memory issues and a weakened immune system.
Your body needs sleep.
During sleep your body has the opportunity to heal itself, create new neural pathways, which help with memory and restores chemical balance.
Here on the Quest for Life programs, we have a session specifically for sleep. Let’s face it, with the busyness of today there can be a tendency to ‘do
do do’, and in the doing, you miss the signals from your body letting you know you are tired. Then wonder why you cannot sleep when you finally get
Hence at Quest for Life we see the importance of sleep and we look at things like stress, diet, how to prepare yourself for sleep, the environment you
sleep in, the art of relaxation and meditation.
All or some of these ideas promote better sleep.
So, how do we sleep easy when we have intense heat?
You may be lucky enough to have air conditioning to cool the house down but if you don’t have that luxury and you’re finding the raised temperatures have
got you tossing and turning in a sweaty mess, you may like to consider some of the ideas below to assist you to get a good night’s sleep.
- Ensure you have light-coloured cotton sheets. Sleeping in natural breathable sheets helps cut down feeling like you’re roasting under the sheets.
- When you choose your pyjamas, less is best. Choose loose-fitting comfortable natural fibre sleepwear or even consider wearing nothing at all. This
is a personal choice which may feel uncomfortable for some.
- If you’re really uncomfortable, you could wet a towel or sheet with cold water before bedtime and use this as a blanket. This allows you to keep your
body temperature cool and comfortable. It may be advisable to sleep on a dry towel/towels to soak up moisture.
- If you have more than one fan you could set them up around the bedroom to create more air flow and a cross-breeze cooling effect.
- Ensure your ceiling fan is rotating in an anti-clockwise direction, which pushes cool air down.
- Get creative with an old fashion cooler. Using a large piece of ice placed on a tray in front of the fan will create a cooling mist and keep you refreshed
for hours. Or hang wet sheets in front of the window which will allow any breeze to be cooled down.
- If you feel overheated and flushed grab an ice pack or place ice cubs in a handtowel and place it on your pulse points – on the back of your neck,
the back of your knees, your wrists or elbows and your ankles and feet.
- Have a cold shower. If this feels too much, start with tepid water and turn off the hot water before you get out of the shower. This will leave you
feeling refreshed. You could even lay on the bed on a towel and let the fan air dry your body.
- Ensure you stay hydrated, drinking plenty of water during the day and evening.
- Keeps the lights low. Not only because artificial light can keep you awake, but they also radiate heat.
- Turn off and unplug electronic equipment as they emit heat.
- Hot air rises so if you live in a 2-story dwelling, you may like to sleep downstairs on a mattress or sofa bed.
- A natural ice pack can be made using rice or buckwheat. Pour some into a cloth bag and place in the freezer so you can use them as cold compresses
(if you don’t have a cloth bag, you could use freezer bags and wrap them in a hand towel).
- Keep your windows and blinds closed off during the day to keep the hot air out.
I hope you find some of these ideas helpful and can find a way to get some peaceful, restful and restorative sleep.